Yesterday, Inquisitr reported some gloomy findings of the U.S. Census, including 36.2 million Americans living below the poverty line in 2010. The figure represents 15.1% of the population and an increase from 14.3% in 2009.
Looking deeper into the Census Report, the national law enforcement group Fight Crime: Invest in Kids stressed that almost 1 million additional children under the age of 18 fell into poverty in 2010 and that for the first time, over 25 percent of children under the age of 6 now live in poverty.
Fight Crime: Invest in Kids is composed of more than 5,000 police chiefs, sheriffs and prosecutors in 50 states. They expressed their concern that the rising child poverty rates could increase the risk of crime in the future.
Though short-term increases in poverty do not cause outright increase in crime rate, a US Surgeon General report said that growing up in poverty is more closely linked to later involvement in violent crime than having abusive parents or watching violent television programs.
So, how do we combat this situation? Miriam Rollin, Fight Crime: Invest in Kids’ National Director, pointed out:
“Investments in high-quality early care and education programs are especially important today with reports that almost 1 million new children have fallen into poverty. Research shows that enabling at-risk kids to attend these high-quality programs returns more than $10 in benefits for every $1 invested over the long term, with much of the savings coming from reduced crime and lower prison costs. Law enforcement leaders and crime survivors across America believe that we must make programs benefiting the youngest children our top priority to avoid increases in crime in the future.”
There is no doubt that high-quality early education can steer the direction of our underprivileged children. The ball is in the hands now of the state and federal leaders. Would they care?